Category: Quick

Easy Homemade Hamburger Buns

Easy Homemade Hamburger Buns

Making homemade hamburger buns is fun, easy and way better than pulling weeds… Just ask Pepé Summer weekends often seem to involve a lot of grilling or gardening and this one was going to be both. We planned on grilling some burgers on Sunday, but […]

Best Homemade Grilled Burgers

Best Homemade Grilled Burgers

My hubby makes the best grilled burgers   It was a lazy summer day without any plans other than to relax by the pool, so I made these Easy Homemade Hamburger Buns and my hubby grilled his incredible perfect burgers. He’s been making them for years, […]

Best Homemade Guacamole

Best Homemade Guacamole

guacamole ingredients

Please Stop Putting the pit in the Bowl!

I’m sorry if this offends those of you who still insist on putting the avocado pit in the bowl. You all declare that it keeps it from turning brown. It absolutely does not. The only part it will keep green is the part that is touching the pit because air can’t get to that exact tiny bit. The pit has the same effect as a light bulb or even a golf ball at this point. It will not help the rest of the guacamole one iota. Basically avocados oxidize even easier and faster than an apple. You’ve heard lemon juice will keep your apple from turning brown, well… The same applies to an avocados, or in this case a bowl of guacamole. It’s the acid that slows down the oxidizing process. It’s plain old science people. Do you leave apple seeds in apple slices that you might want to add to a salad? Do you throw the avocado skin in the bowl? My guacamole is not the pits and yours doesn’t have to be either.

Guacamole Food Myth busted!

Now you can use a lemon here, but we all know that lime juice goes better with guac than lemons. So please, please, please, Pepé and I beg you, stop making me push that darn pit out of the way of getting a good delicious scoop of guac on my salty, crispy tortilla chip. 

chunky guacamole

Keep it Chunky, It’s Not Baby Food

Until about 12 years ago, I hated guacamole. Every time I went to a Mexican restaurant and saw that pile of green mush on my plate, I would push it aside with utter repugnance. To be fair, I didn’t like avocados either. But one day a friend had an annual Fiesta party and everyone was asked to bring a Mexican or Tex Mex themed food item, so I made chicken and steak quesadillas. My plan was to serve them with sour cream and salsa, but I had this cute condiment dish that was segmented for 3 different items. So, I thought, “What should I put in the last one?” I decided to make my first guacamole ever because even though neither my hubby nor I liked it at the time, plenty of other people did, so pulled out my Joy of Cooking cook book and got to work.

I have modified it several times throughout the years, and so has the Joy of Cooking, but my overall best advice is keep it chunky and use plenty of lime juice to keep it pretty and green. From that moment on, I now love guacamole…Even if you still insist on leaving that darn pit in there.

Sliced avocado with pit

Slice avocado in half vertically (slicing around the pit and not through it) and twist to separate. Whack the pit with the sharp edge of a large knife and twist to remove. Pull pit off of knife with towel and toss in the trash.

the best guacamole recipe

Scoop avocado flesh out with large spoon, chop into slightly large chunks and place in a large bowl. I like to use this 4 blade old chopping tool, but if you don’t have one, just use a knife. They will break down as you stir, so start a little bigger.

Chopped roma tomatoes

Cut tomatoes and onions about this size.

Mincing jalapenos for guacamole

Jalapeños are minced very fine. I always touch my tongue to the end with the stem when I cut it off so I can see how much heat it has. They are not always the same heat level.

guacamole with tortilla chip

Notice there aren’t any avocado pits to get in the way. Yes, I’m sorry, I’m on a mission, but I promise I’m right and science doesn’t lie.

Best Homemade Guacamole

This simple, healthy and chunky guacamole is the best darn guacamole you will ever make or eat. You will never want to eat store bought again. And hopefully, you’ll leave the pits out of your bowl too.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 5 Cups

Ingredients

  • 5 Regular Avocados (ripe - slightly soft but not mushy)
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Cup Cup Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Large Roma Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 Jalapeños (finely chopped)
  • 2 Limes (juiced) (lime zest is optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cilantro (optional because some people hate it)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  • Slice avocado in half vertically (slicing around the pit and not through it) and twist to separate. Whack the pit with the sharp edge of a large knife and twist to remove. Pull pit off of knife with towel and toss in the trash. Scoop avocado flesh out with large spoon, chop into slightly large chunks and place in a large bowl. I like to use this 4 blade old chopping tool, but if you don’t have one, just use a knife. They will break down as you stir, so start a little bigger. Immediately, add the lime juice followed by all other ingredients. Gently blend with a large spoon. I do not recommend a fork, mortar and pestle and especially not a food processor. Careful not to over stir it. It really is nice when it still has texture and it’s not just mush.

Notes

Keeping it green... When storing guacamole, place a layer of plastic wrap (cling film) directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent any air from touching it. 
Jicama Mango Slaw

Jicama Mango Slaw

There’s no law about slaw   Well, I was smoking a pork shoulder for our guests and as usual I was going to make the standard coleslaw to go with it, when out of nowhere, Pepé le Chef jumped out and said, “NO, NO SHERIE… […]

Light and Healthy Tuna Salad

Light and Healthy Tuna Salad

The best tuna salad ever Okay, now I know that sounds like I’m bragging, but I have been told by many people that my tuna salad is the best they have ever eaten. And I have been asked to post this recipe more than once. […]

Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

Pepe & Claude sombreros

Is there time for tasty taco tuesday tongue twisters today?

Pepé and Claude challenge you to come up with some tasty taco Tuesday tongue twisters of your own while we make these easy and healthy fish tacos, but don’t talk with your mouth full (that drives my hubby crazy). It’s the Tuesday before Cinco de Mayo and these two are getting ready to have their own little fiesta. Señor Pepé and Señor Claude were getting in the mood to make these ‘excelente’, healthy and easy fish tacos by starting out with a margarita. You know what doesn’t go with too many margaritas? Tongue twisters.  Actually, they kinda do… I’m not gonna lie, it’s hilarious. Good thing these tuesday tacos don’t take too long to make. You will be done eating before your tongue is too twisted to talk about Tuesday’s tacos today.

You can use other fish if you like, I just prefer halibut. It’s also a lot healthier and faster since it’s not breaded and deep fried. 

Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. You can put your sauce into a squeeze bottle or zip lock bag so you can squeeze it onto your tacos, or just spread it on the tortillas before you add your other ingredients. (sorry I forgot to take a picture of that, but I’m sure you get the idea)

fish taco spice blend

halibut with spice

Season halibut with salt and pepper, then combine the cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic pepper in a bowl (I like to double or even quadruple this season mixture and put it into a spice jar that I saved – it can be used to season many other recipes). 

garnish for fish tacos

Slice all your garnish.  

avocado with small seed

Pepé and I were thrilled to see such a tiny seed in the avocados.

halibut tacos

Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a griddle, skillet or in the microwave. It only takes about 8-12 seconds in a microwave, so be careful not to overcook tortillas. 

halibut for fish tacos

Slice halibut into small pieces. I use two per taco, but it depends on the size of tortillas. I used 6 inch tortillas, but size really doesn’t matter. 😉

halibut fish tacos

Assemble your tacos with desired garnish and enjoy! 

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Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

These are some really easy and healthy fish tacos that with a little prep, you can be enjoying them in 30 minutes.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Pound Halibut filets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Flour Tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Seasoning Mix

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice (fresh squeezed and strained of pulp)
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder

Garnish

  • 1 Large Jalapeño (thinly sliced)
  • 3 Ounces Red Cabbage (sliced or shredded)
  • 3 Ounces Onions (I used red, but it won't matter)
  • 3 Ounces Radishes (sliced)
  • 1/2 Large Avocado (sliced)
  • Cilantro (chopped and optional)
  • Lime Wedges

Instructions

  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. You can put your sauce into a squeeze bottle or zip lock bag so you can squeeze it onto your tacos, or just spread it on the tortillas before you add your other ingredients.
  • Season halibut with salt and pepper, then combine the cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic pepper in a bowl (I like to double or even quadruple this season mixture and put it into a spice jar that I saved – it can be used to season many other recipes). Sprinkle fish with mix and set aside. Slice all your garnish.
  • Heat skillet on medium high. After skillet is hot, add oil and let that get hot for a minute, then add the seasoned fish fillets. Let them cook on each side for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a griddle, skillet or in the microwave. It only takes about 8-12 seconds in a microwave, so be careful not to overcook tortillas. Assemble your tacos with desired garnish and enjoy!

Notes

I learned that it's better to strain the pulp from the lime before adding it to the chipotle sauce, otherwise it clogs the squeeze bottle.
Tomato Basil Chicken Tart

Tomato Basil Chicken Tart

You say tomato, I say tomato! Tomato, tomato… I recently found this video and I just have to share it with you because I think you will enjoy it. It has so many things I like even if it reminds me that I’m older than […]

Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

Presto! It’s Pesto I couldn’t help but take a picture of Pepé next to these basil plants. I was showing a friend how big the plants have grown. He laughed and said, “It looks like Pepé’s tree house.” I think Pepé would really dislike living […]

Garlic Croutons

Garlic Croutons

easy homemade croutons

You’ll Never Want Store Bought Croutons Again!

People get all worked up about carbs and how they are somehow evil, but I believe in eating from all the food groups in good balance. And Pepé, well he’s French, so of course he likes his bread. He would sleep on a mattress made of bread if I let him.  I have never been a huge fan of croutons and will most likely pick them out of most salads because I don’t like when you try to put your fork in one and they shatter. I started making my own croutons because I ran out of the store bought kind and my hubby does like croutons in his salad. I happened to have a big rustic loaf of roasted garlic bread, so I made my own. I have never bought another package of croutons from the store again. You will find these croutons in my Caesar salad as well as my Panzanella salad recipe. My hubby also likes to snack on them, so I always make a few extra. I already had plans to post this recipe when my niece, Jenny, text me and asked if she could have the recipe. She promised to keep it secret. I had to laugh and tell her that it would be a strange food blog if my recipes were a secret. These are the simplest things to make and you will never want to eat store bought croutons again.

Get a loaf of roasted garlic bread from the bakery at your grocery store. It will look like a big rustic loaf of bread that has not been sliced.

Slice into 3/4” slices (a little less than one piece per person).

Cut the slices into cubes.

Put in a bowl and toss with a light coating of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 425° for about 6-8 minutes.

Check to see if the outside is starting to get crisp. Don’t let them get brown. Just slightly brown. You want them slightly crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. If adding them to a salad, don’t add them until you are ready to eat or they will get soggy.

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Croutons

The easiest and best croutons you will ever eat. You will never want store bought croutons again.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time13 mins
Course: Bread, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 Serving

Ingredients

  • 2 Slices Rustic Garlic Bread Cut 3/4” thick cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive OilOlive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Get a loaf of roasted garlic bread from the bakery at your grocery store. It will look like a big rustic loaf of bread that has not been sliced. Slice into 3/4” slices (a little less than one piece per person). Cut the slices into cubes. Put in a bowl and toss with a light coating of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 425°F for about 6-8 minutes. Check to see if the outside is starting to get crisp. You want them slightly crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. If adding them to a salad, don’t add them until you are ready to eat or they will get soggy.
Concoction No. 2

Concoction No. 2

Sausage jokes are the “wurst” I call this Concoction No. 2 because it’s a variation on Concoction No. 1 (which I will post another time). Neither of them have ever had a name that I know of, it’s just something I’ve been making for as […]


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